Bodily Rights Of Arousal And Pleasure

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I recently attended a session by Dr. Ellen Laan, a clinical psychologist and sexologist from the University of Amsterdam, who discussed common myths about sexual pleasure and sexual problems arising from pelvic floor over-activity. Dr. Laan said something that I found quite interesting. She said that males are usually very conscious of when they are desiring or “turned on” and that is due to the fact that they are quick to be alerted by their erect penises. On the other hand, females, with their their genitalia located internally, are not as quick to realize when their bodies are aroused. She said that physical arousal and conscious emotionally driven arousal were two separate entities that may sometimes go hand in hand, but not always (meaning your body could beat your mind to arousal). Dr. Laan then went on to explain that men’s relatively early and more obvious biological alertness creates a time lag in desire between a male and female in a sexual partnership. Women would typically require a bit more time and stimulation to get to their conscious, emotionally elicited arousal.


What does this have to do with bodily and sexual rights? Well, let me explain. In her clinical psychological studies of women who have been diagnosed with dyspareunia (briefly: painful intercourse), she found that many of these women still engaged in sexual intercourse at least once or twice a week (her sample consisted mainly of heterosexual couples). She said that a major issue is that women’s biological makeup (ie the openness of a vagina) makes them always appear ready for sex even they though they may not actually be so. Rather than stimulating their partners to engage with them sexually, many of these men assumed that just because they had their own green light from their genitals means that their partners were also ready – which mostly wasn’t the case.

This had me thinking about the recent One Day One Struggle campaign on Marital Rape in Lebanon. The mere fact that a man is physically ready to go, having an erect penis and rocking it, doesn’t mean at all that his partner is – no lube, no spit, no Crisco in the world is going to be a good enough replacement for your own body-made-au naturel lube. Coaxing someone to allow you into their bodies when they just aren’t ready or willing, just because you are, is not acceptable. Imagine if it were biologically impossible to have penetrative sex with a woman who wasn’t excited or willing -the same way that men “just can’t” when they’re soft- imagine how drastically that would change the dynamics of the two genders’ interaction – inside and outside of the sack. Dr. Laan also said that women who had been diagnosed with vaginismus (briefly: an impossibility of vaginal penetration due to involuntary muscular spasms)and were not able to have any penetrative sex with their partners, had received empathy and understanding from their partners rather than frustration and impatience which were the sentiments of partners of women with dyspareunia. In case I lost you this means, if penetration “just” hurts but you can have sex then we will do so and approximately twice a week, even though it’s not pleasurable. But if it were impossible to penetrate (equivalent of having a flaccid penis for a man) then I will sympathize, not guilt you, and not force you into sex.

In this picture, bodily rights only go so far to meet bodily capacities. Away with the mind, away with the heart, away with desire, away with intimacy, away with fire, attraction, and lust. If you physically can then you should.that is Marital Rape – your animalistic ability to prove to yourself that you can fu*k.

- Contributed by Rye

Guest Contributor

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